Arsenal vs Chelsea Match Report :
The goals were raining at Emirates, the contest was evenly poised for most of the times as both teams were able to find the net 2 times each.
This game will surely go into the books as one of the best London Derbies ever.
This is how the teams shaped up for the big occasion :
Arsenal XI: (3-4-3)
Cech, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere, Maitland-Niles, Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette.
Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Walcott, Iwobi, Welbeck, Coquelin, Elneny.
Chelsea XI: (3-5-2)
Courtois, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso, Fabregas, Hazard, Morata.
Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Drinkwater, Pedro, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi.
First Half :
Chelsea started the match with style as Hazard received a quick free-kick after a hefty Chambers challenge on the edge of the box, and the Belgian was given far too much time to advance into the area and get a shot away, but it was deflected away from the target.
The Gunners tried to come back in the match with a Sanchez’s free kick. Sanchez hit the free-kick venomously, but his shot took a deflection off the wall and spinned behind for a corner, which was dealt with by the visitors.
Arsenal had a good go at Chelsea in the first 15 minutes. Ozil did well to block Hazard’s pass, and the Gunners surged up the other end, but Sanchez was crowded out on the left and couldn’t create an opening.
Then came the miss of Alvaro Morata from where Chelsea could have got the lead. One long ball over the top catches Chambers and Mustafi napping, and Morata was onside and he broke into the box all on his own. He looked certain to score as he advanced calmly towards Cech, opened his body up as the goalkeeper dived the wrong way and passed the ball miles wide of the target.
It was end to end stuff at Emirates Stadium.Maitland-Niles was tripped in the box and Arsenal screamed for a penalty, but none was given. They then won the ball back, and Sanchez smacked an effort that beats Courtois, but bounced off of both posts and then back to a grateful goalkeeper. Incredible scenes at Emirates. It was amazing that the match was still goalless.
Arsenal were really piling on the pressure here. Ozil fed Lacazette with a superb ball, and the striker with his back to goal spinned Cahill and fired an effort towards the bottom-right corner, only for Courtois to stretch across and made a fantastic save.
Some moments later Bakayoko was slipped in with a wonderful pass from Fabregas, and he shrugged his man off before blasting one at goal, but Cech was there to tip it behind for a corner . Then, Wilshere picked up the first yellow card of the game for a late lunge on Fabregas. No love lost there, it seemed.
Some haphazard defending from Arsenal forced Xhaka into a desperate tackle on the edge of the box, but he mistimed it slightly and gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position. Alonso stepped up, but he placed it well over the bar and behind.
Another glaring miss for Chelsea in few moments. Kante had done fantastically to win the ball from Ozil, and Hazard’s slaloming run had sold half the Arsenal defence, but Fabregas lashed wildly at his layoff, sending the ball over the bar. With that the first half ended with no Goal for any side at Emirates.
Second Half :
Chelsea began the second half where they had ended. A defence-splitting ball sent Hazard through down the centre, but Cech saved well with his feet, before tipping Alonso’s header round the post. Great saves from the former Chelsea man kept Arsenal in the match.
It was really a end to end match. Moments later Maitland-Niles threw a couple of stepovers in and glided past Moses, but his cross to the back post was just an inch too deep for Sanchez, who had to backpedal to get his head on it and could only nod over the bar. Some excellent interplay and a stroke of fortune saw Lacazette with space to shoot on the left, but Courtois was out quickly to close down the space and blocked the Frenchman’s fierce effort.
Arsenal had broken the deadlock for the Gunners. What a thumping goal as well from Wilshere. The ball was played back into the box and evaded Chambers, but found its way through to Wilshere, who smashed in at the near post via both a slight deflection and the inside of the post. Arsenal were 1-0 up in the match with that Goal.
Bellerin nicked Hazard in the box as he twisted and turned, and the Blues had a spot-kick. It was a silly challenge from the full-back.Hazard put Chelsea level as he slotted the ball straight down the middle. What a cool penalty it was from the Belgian. It was 1-1 at Emirates with that.
Chelsea took the lead in the match when substitute Zappacosta got the better of young Maitland-Niles, and it was Alonso of all people who came into the box, got the wrong side of his marker and finished first-time to give Chelsea the lead for the first time in the match.
Arsenal levelled the scoreline. The ball was only half-cleared to the edge of the box, and Bellerin placed a delightful half-volley into the top corner to get the Gunners back on level terms. Again Morata was through again after another long ball forward completely caught the Arsenal defence out, but he shooted straight at Cech. Zappacosta hit the rebound on the half-volley, but it clipped the top of the crossbar. The game ended with a 2-2 scoreline probably a fair result for both the teams.
Cech – 6.5/10
Bellerin – 8/10
Chambers – 5/10
Mustafi – 6/10
Holding – 6.5/10
Maitland-Niles – 8/10
Xhaka – 7/10
Wilshere – 8/10
Ozil – 7.5/10
Sanchez – 6.5/10
Lacazette – 6/10
Courtois – 6.5/10
Cahill – 7/10
Christensen – 7/10
Azpilicueta – 7/10
Alonso – 7.5/10
Fabregas – 7.5/10
Kante – 7/10
Bakayoko – 6/10
Moses – 6/10
Hazard – 8/10
Morata – 5/10
Arsenal’s goal scorer Hector Bellerin to Sky Sports:
“It was non-stop football, running up and down. We worked hard all week. It was a great reaction towards the end.”
On whether he thought his challenge on Eden Hazard was a penalty: “He’s very quick in the box – I saw the ball in the air and tried to challenge for it, we both got to the ball at the same time and the referee thought it was a penalty.
“It was great to score. I haven’t scored in a while. I’m happy with the goal and the reaction of the whole team.”
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, told Sky Sports: “It was a 50-50 match, both teams played a really good game. Maybe we should have scored more, we missed some chances. The last shot should have been a goal. We are happy though. Asked about the decision where he was fouled by Hector Bellerin for the penalty, Hazard replied: “We don’t need a replay, it was a penalty. Petr is a great goalkeeper, it is always hard to score against him but I put the ball in the net and that was the most important thing. I think we should won this game because of the chances we had.”